I heard an old song on the radio yesterday, one that used to be my favorite. My favorite because the lyrics are so achingly beautiful. My favorite because the first few soft notes pull me in every single time. My favorite because even after so many years, it still reminds me of you.
I was tempted to change the station, only because that’s what I’m supposed to do, right? I’m supposed to wash out any thoughts of old love, of heartbreak, of us. I’m supposed to keep my head somewhere floating lazily and happily up in the clouds. I’m not supposed to feel.
But I didn’t change the station.
I rolled the windows down. I turned the volume up. And I sang along.
Because I’m not afraid of emotion. I’m not afraid to feel. And I’m not afraid to embrace the reminders of what I’ve loved and lost—those things are still beautiful, even if they hurt.
I listened to a love song on the radio yesterday. And I’m not in love. I let the words wash over me. I let the melody embrace me like a familiar hug. I let the notes escape from my own lips and travel through the empty space in the car.
I let myself remember all the times I sang along to that song with you, all the times I played it loudly in my bedroom on a lazy Sunday morning, all the times I hummed the melody in the shower or absentmindedly on my way to work.
I love how songs can bring us back to places, to people, to slices of time that make our souls shiver in remembrance.
I love how the tune of a song can be so simple, yet carry so much weight.
I love how even after time, we still listen to a song the same way, with the same excitement at the intro notes, the same sweeping calm at the chorus.
I know I’m not supposed to enjoy a song that surrounds so much heartbreak. I know I shouldn’t sing along to a melody that reminds me of a place, a person that no longer exists in my life.
But I can’t help it.
I love how love songs have become a part of me, a part of my history and the people I’ve loved. I love how love songs have defined my heart, my youth, my growth into a woman who isn’t afraid to feel.
I’ll never get sick of these songs and how they weigh and pull at my heart. They will always make me smile, make me remember, make me laugh. They will always make me tilt my head back, roll the windows down, and sing along at the top of my lungs.